Posted in Gratefulness, Life

Celebrating the Connections

“Woah oh we need each other.” (Sanctus Real) How true that statement is. Even as an introvert, I still need to get out and socialize. As I’ve been overwhelmed by classwork and other responsibilities this week, I’ve realized this even more.

This past week in class we read a story by Ray Bradbury called “The Pedestrian”. In this science fiction short story, a lone man walks the streets in a futuristic city. He’s stopped by a police car, questioned, and eventually taken to the Psychiatric Center for Regressive Tendencies. His “regressive tendencies”? He writes; he walks; he doesn’t own a tv; he isn’t married. These may not seem very “regressive” to our society, but in a society where people go to work and then come home to watch their viewing screens in darkened silence, this behavior is abnormal. In fact, the main character has not seen another person walking in the ten years he’s been walking the streets. The message of this story is clear: we can very easily allow technology to deaden and isolate us to the point that what was once viewed as normal begins to be viewed as regressive. The fact stands that people need each other.

I’m grateful for all of the people in my life, whether I met them 25 years ago, a few weeks ago, or somewhere in between. I appreciate the relationships God has give me whether I speak to certain people daily or only occasionally. This weekend I was especially grateful for the friends I made in college and maintained relationships with. Here are some highlights of our time together.

*The bottom two photos are borrowed from friends (Clare and Amanda). Kudos to these ladies for helping to document the trip.

Now get out and appreciate the people God has put into your life.

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Posted in Gratefulness, Life

It all points to God

I’ll never claim to be scientifically astute or even intelligent, but as I toured the NOAA where my brother is working this summer, one thought kept running through my mind, well maybe two.

1. These people here are very intelligent and passionate to be able to spend their lives watching these computer screens and predicting weather and space patterns. I’ll stick with my line of work because I think I’d go crazy here.

2. I’m sure all of the work they do has value in my life somehow, but the tour really impressed on me that there has to be a Creator with an intelligent design. When the scientist was talking about the Earth’s electromagnetic field (or something like that) protecting it from some sort of something (my brother would be ashamed about how ignorant I still am of all these terms), it just seemed so apparent to me that God had it all planned out and he created a perfect place for us to live.

While this tour wasn’t my most favorite aspect of the trip, it definitely helped me appreciate all of the work of God. Join me as I pray for the scientists in this field who may not see God’s design when they look at the skies and for those who do believe and are fighting to protect their faith.

The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Psalm 19:1

Posted in Gratefulness, Life

I’m not superwoman, but I have a super God.

Don’t try to be superwoman: that’s the lesson of the weekend.

I had grand plans of trying to make it back to Oneida for the 11 am service at my church after attending the early service at my brother’s church. I probably could have made it fashionably late if I had been cautious and smart. Instead I was on the side of the road with a defunct car, a policeman, an ambulance, my brother and his girlfriend, and many tears at 11 am on Sunday.

God had his hand on the entire situation though and still does. I wasn’t hurt, and I didn’t hit the car coming towards me. I only spun and hit the ditch a couple of times before I ended up back on the road with a busted tire and quite a bit of damage to the car. Roxie (my car) has been treated kinder, but God used her to shield me from any physical damage.

When I was in high school, I wrote a poem about slowing down. Metaphorically I was speaking of slowing down to enjoy life, but in light of this past weekend, I think slowing down while driving is a good idea as well. If I hadn’t been in such a hurry to be superwoman and fly back to Oneida (good intentions and all), I wouldn’t be driving a rental minivan right now and worrying about Roxie. One lesson I’ve learned is to not rush. If I can’t be part of everything, so be it. God has a plan for each location I’ll be. While I write that last sentence though, I also realize that God has a plan for my accident as well.

It’s hard to say yet what good will come of my accident, but I know God has a plan to take even this unwanted situation and bring glory to his name. Already he’s provided for me through many concerned people and a good insurance company, so I have no doubt he has a plan. For now, I’ll wait on the prognosis, and in the meantime I’ll take life a little slower.

Most of all praise be to God that I am safe and that no one else was involved.

Posted in Book Review, Gratefulness, Life

25 Things

On this morning of the completion of my 25th birthday, I would like to make a list of 25 things for which I am thankful God has given me.

  1. A God who shows clemency
  2. The promise of Heaven
  3. A family that supports and loves
  4. Friends who are real when needed and spoil me when needed.
  5. Churches who help me grow closer to God
  6. A cat who adores me
  7. A job that encourages my faith
  8. Students who push me to be better
  9. Books that entertain me
  10. A healthy body
  11. Tea to warm me to my toes
  12. A shelter from the world
  13. An always full belly
  14. Clean water
  15. Electricity (I am blessed)
  16. Blankets (I really hate being cold)
  17. Opportunities
  18. A car that runs (most of the time)
  19. Clothes appropriate for every season
  20. A conscience
  21. Past mistakes and diversions from more fatal mistakes
  22. Discipline
  23. Numerous Bibles
  24. An intelligent mind
  25. 25 years of life
Posted in Book Review, Gratefulness, Life

Spiritual birthday

Eleven years ago I began a relationship with Jesus. Besides relationships with my family it’s far surpassed the time I’ve invested in any other relationship. It’s also been far more rewarding and satisfying than any friendship, kinship, or romance I’ve ever had. I’ve been in a relationship with Jesus for almost half of my life. I’ve learned about love and forgiveness and grace and discipline. He’s taught me (still teaching me) how to speak and interact with people and when to be silent. He reminds me that I’m loved and worthy of love by giving me rainbows and butterflies and sunsets even when it feels like no one in this world notices me. I’m blessed to say I’m a daughter, friend, and follower of God. I’m excited to see where God will lead me and what he’ll teach me in the coming years, and even more I’m excited to see him in heaven.

Read my spiritual story here.

Posted in Crafts, Gratefulness, Life

Box of Blessings

At the beginning of this year, I started a project that has proven to be extremely good for my relationship with God. A friend encouraged me to create a jar of blessings, but since I didn’t have a jar handy, I created a box of blessings.

box of blessings

Each time something good happens to me, I write it on a slip of paper and place it in the box. I plan to read the blessings at the end of the year to reflect on how God has worked in my life this year. Sometimes, the blessings are little, such as a pretty flower, but they can also be answered prayers, such as a successful day. When I read them, I may not remember why this blessing was so good, but I can marvel at the number of recorded blessings that He gave me.

In the meantime, this box is bringing me closer to God. I find myself thanking God more throughout the day. I don’t always remember to write them down at the end of the day, but I do remember to thank God during the day. This is helping me maintain that constant conversation with Him and improving my mood.

I encourage each of you to try recording your blessings somehow. You can use a box, a jar, a journal, or any other method that suits you. Most importantly, remember to thank God each time you receive a blessing, no matter the size. Let’s see how we can become more thankful this year.

box of blessings blessing sunrise feb 2

Posted in Gratefulness, Life

Four Leaf Clover

About a week ago, I prayed “God if this is going to be a good day, please let me find a four leaf clover.” That day continued without finding a four leaf clover. I’ve been searching for a four-leaf clover since earlier this summer. Every time I start searching, someone else found one and I got frustrated and gave up.

Today I walked out of school to get in my car and go home, but my car wouldn’t start. Mind you this happened just a week ago when I discovered that my brake lights were staying on after I turned off the car. I was stuck at school in another town when I really just wanted to get back to my dorm. I called my best friend with tears. I thought it was my brake light again. So I got the band director to jump my car and I called the mechanic. Wiping away tears I headed back toward college.¬†Before I got out of the parking lot I realized that my headlights were still turned on. Oh bummer. It wasn’t my brake lights this time; it was my own stupidity. I humbled myself and called the mechanic back.

Lo and behold when I got out of my car at college, I found a four leaf clover. I almost cried again. God was sending me a sign that it’s all gonna be okay. In¬†Captivating, Stasi Eldredge talks about how God sends us chocolate and flowers in the form of sunsets and beautiful trees sometimes. Today God sent me some chocolate in the form of a four leaf clover.